Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Katy, Katy, Katy. It wasn't enough to fall in love with an alien or destroy a vicious Arum in the middle of the woods or even get sucked into a dangerous world of extra-terrestials 101. Now she's doing things she shouldn't be able to do, and falling in love with people (Read: Daemon) that she probably shouldn't fall in love with. 

Typical walk in the park. 
Are there complications? You better believe it. It seems that the DOD is teaming up with an unusual ally and that not all of Katy's friends are exactly who they claim to be. In fact, one of her acquaintances just might be out to kill her. 

Oh, my....Daemon Black is the snarkiest, wittiest, most infuriating male lead I've ever come across in my life. He's charming in that drive-you-crazy-but-ya-gotta-love-him kind of way. Katy's sense of humor is hilarious. Stellar, even. The chemistry between these two kind of knocks your socks off, which is interesting, because most of the time the two are arguing. But it's cute. I think I laughed out loud about 50 times during the first half of the book when Daemon kept referring to Katy's friend Blake by the wrong name... "Flake, Bob, Bilbo..." LOL 
I don't know how Jennifer L. Armentrout does it, but she manages to fold hilarity in with romance, and romance in with drama, and drama in with science-fiction. And all of this is, of course, High School. 
Makes sense, doesn't it? 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Awesome Autumn Giveaway (Under the Never Sky)

Oh, my....It's Autumn, already. Well, where I live is still pretty hot, even for the first day of Fall. I have a few books that didn't get given away this summer, so I'm going to be giving away one at a time over the next few months. In fact, probably one per month. And then, if all goes well, I may or may not have a spectacular Christmas Giveaway when December hits. And yes, it really will be here before you know it! 

So the book I'm giving away this month is one of the top reads of 2012: Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi. 

Simply enter the form below. The only requirement is that you follow this blog. That's it! Have a great Fall, peeps. 

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Friday, September 21, 2012


Jackie is in college. She lives in a dorm. She just broke up with her boyfriend of 3 years. And now, she just narrowly avoided being completely assaulted by a drunk jerk at a fraternity Halloween party. How did she escape? With the help of a hot guy, of course! (Don't tell me you were expecting otherwise!) 

I read this book because it is New Adult lit (and I'm not sure what I expected), which means it basically deals with kids during the years after high school. First, let me say what I really liked. 1, it dealt with an age group that is generally skipped over. 2, Lucas seemed like a really likeable guy. 3, there were plenty of colorful supporting characters to take this book from average romance novel to a dramatic story. 
Now, onto the tricky parts. Sexual assault is a big problem in college dorm life. Why? Because college students spend a lot of time getting drunk and partying hard in the wee hours of the night. (why someone would want to lose all sense of self-control and spend the next day hugging a toilet bowl, wondering what stupid things they did that they can't recall is way beyond me, but hey...that's just me) So this story basically gives us that scenario, and the main character pretty much spends the entire book cowering in her assaulter's shadow, wondering if he'll try to assault her again the second she steps off-campus. 
Seriously? I would have called the cops on someone like that the second he was sprawled out on the ground. I don't think letting idiots get away with being idiots is somehow making the world a better place. 
But again...that's just me. 
So Jackie's weird attitude about keeping the assault a secret didn't make me pity or respect her. It annoyed me. To the point where I was wondering what was going on in her head. 
So what's my summation? This is a satisfying NA romance novel. The running themes throughout it are all things I have a major problem with, and that is just my personal opinion. Well-written. Simply not my cup of tea, and I say this with the utmost respect for the author.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Constitution Day! (My Speech)

  Happy Constitution Day! Here is the transcript of the speech I gave locally in honor of the most amazing document ever written. Take a minute today to appreciate it! 

My name is Summer Lane. I’m a writer, and I love my country and the Constitution. I want to tell you today why I love the Constitution, and why I, as a young person, care about what it represents.
As you know, last Tuesday was 9/11. An acquaintance of mine, let’s call him Joe, started talking about the phrase, God Bless America. He told me that it was an ignorant phrase, and that it was offensive to say something like that. I asked him why. He said it made it seem like the United States was better than all of the other nations in the world, that it was a prideful statement.
Number one, the United States is the greatest nation on earth. And number two, there is nothing offensive with asking for God’s blessing. Without God’s blessing, we wouldn’t have the Constitution, and we would be just like every other country on the face of the earth: average.
But we are not average, because we are free.
My friend Joe went on to argue that it was wrong to talk about God publically because the United States was founded on secular principles, and religion had no place in our country. Now, if you and I know anything about American History, we know that the United States was founded on strong religious principles. Secular principles? Where did that come from? The pilgrims fled Europe for the express purpose of being able to worship God freely. In the Mayflower Compact they say that they came for the Glory of God, and the advancements of the Christian faith.
26 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence studied at schools that trained ministers to go out into the field and preach the gospel of Christ. It’s not a secret that our Founders were strongly religious men who prayed often, and over and over again made reference to God and acknowledged his supreme authority.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the most well-known Founding Fathers, is often said in textbooks and in the popular media to have been a Unitarian, which is basically someone who believes that there is a God somewhere, but he doesn’t really pay attention to the affairs of men. This is not true. Benjamin Franklin spent a lot of time in prayer, and during the Constitutional Convention of 1777, when the delegates were having an intense argument, he begged them to stop and ask God for guidance.
“I have lived, sir, a long time,” he said, “and the longer I live, the more convincing the proofs I see of this truth – that God Governs the affairs of men. And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”
You see, the Founding Fathers realized that the only way that they were going to successfully build a free country was to rely on the help of God. Man alone couldn’t handle it. In fact, it was George Washington who said, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
These godly men created the Constitution because God blessed them with the wisdom to do so – wisdom that they had prayed for. We are a free nation because of this. As you all know, the Constitution protects our basic rights as citizens. And it is the only document in the world that tells the government what not to do, and leaves the people completely alone.
The Constitution has saved us time and time again from total destruction. For example, during World War II, the Japanese government had a plan to send 1 million troops on foot into the United States. They were told to slaughter everybody and anything in their path. This million man army would have come from the citizenry, because at that time in Japan, if you lived and breathed, you were a soldier whether you liked it or not.
The Japanese government decided not to send those million troops into America – where they most likely would have entered on the West Coast, all the way from California to Washington – because they knew that the American citizens had the right to bear arms. At that time, most of the people in the United States owned a gun and would have fought back against the Japanese invasion in their own homes.
The Second Amendment saved us from Japanese invasion, therefore the Constitution saved us.
There have been instances, though, when people in government have tried to overstep the boundaries of the Constitution. During the late 1790s, the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed. What this did was forbid Roman Catholics from immigrating into the United States. Today, that sounds incredibly stupid, but at the time, Americans had just fled the religious theocracy of Europe, where many Christians had been burned at the stake, so limiting the influx of Catholics “seemed” like the right thing to do. But what it really did was limit the amount of people who could come safely to America.
The second part of the act was the Sedition Act, which made it illegal for newspapers or private citizens to say anything negative about the Federal Government. People were thrown in prison, especially people who wrote for the newspaper, if they contradicted anything the government did or said.
Obviously that’s a blatant violation of our First Amendment right: the right to free speech. But this happened only twenty years after the Constitution was actually written! Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were horrified and tried to get Congress to repeal the acts, but they would not budge. So, they appealed to the people. The people voted their representatives out of office the next year, and the new delegates repealed the acts and freedom was restored.
What does that tell us? It tells us that the Constitution is only as powerful as the will of the people. Words mean nothing without the strength to back them up. Today, too many of our constitutional rights are threatened because not enough people care enough to stand up and fight. They assume that the United States has always gotten through tough spots, and it will survive. But I have news for you, if you don’t do anything to protect the Constitution, it will be meaningless. People will walk all over it.
As a 19-year-old living in 2012, I look around and I can tell you that the youth of America are some of the most irresponsible when it comes to protecting our country and preserving our freedoms. My friend Joe had gone to school all his life, and he knew absolutely nothing about American History. He believes that saying God’s name is an offensive statement! And there are so many young people like him. Kids who don’t know anything about our past, therefore they are completely unprepared to deal with problems in the present or future. Kids who have not yet had to do the hard thing and stand up for their freedoms, like the generation who fought in World War II, or the soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War, or the soldiers that fight today in the Middle East. The Youth today have no appreciation for this freedom because they have not experienced the hardship, and what’s worse, they don’t know anything about the Constitution, so they cannot protect it.
So it’s up to us to educate people about the Constitution, the ultimate safeguard of our liberty. It’s not outdated – it’s timeless. It’s not restricting – it’s empowering. But you have to do more than stand on a street corner and hand out copies of the Constitution. You have to talk to people, and you have to show them.
I am so thankful for the Constitution. As a 19-year-old Home School graduate, I appreciate the fact that it allows me to be a Christian. It allows me to express myself creatively as a writer without fear of censorship. It allows me to walk down the street and discuss political affairs with my grandpa because we have the right to free speech. God has blessed America in so many ways.

We have to remember what Ronald Reagan said:
“If ever we forget that we are one nation under God, we will be a nation gone under.”

Friday, September 14, 2012

The BEST Movies of All Time

Maybe you haven't heard, but I have a slight obsession for storytelling. Whether it's a book, a play, or a song, I can't get enough. So is it any wonder that one of my all-time favorite things are movies? As a young screenwriter and a published freelance writer/novelist, I take a special interest in the stories of the big screen. Here are my top favorite movies for each genre. 


My absolute favorite action movie of all time is Die Hard. One, I love cops. Two, I love a basic good guy vs. bad guy story. And three, I love Bruce Willis. This film is all about the good guy doing the good thing and taking out the bad guys when nobody else can or will step up to the job. A bunch of terrorists got you down? No worries. Bring in the cop, ladies and gentlemen, and take cover. There's going to be fireworks. Think I'm not a true die hard Die Hard fan? I have the original movie poster on my closet door. Yup. 
Now go watch the movie and see some serious bad-guy butt get kicked. 
Favorite quotes from the movie: 
John McClane: *crawling through an air shaft* Now I know what a TV dinner feels like. 

Hans Gruber: *reading the note on the terrorist's body* 'Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.' 


Growing up in my house, you learn to love Beatrix Potter. From The Tale of Peter Rabbit to Squirrel Nutkin, Beatrix was one of the most masterful story tellers of all time. This film, likewise, is one of the most masterful historical dramas I have ever seen in my life - thus one of my favorites. If not the favorite. My mom collects Beatrix Potter books and tea cups, and I love to read about the woman who taught herself to be an artist/storyteller and to this day has the most successful children's books of all time. Renee Zellweger represents Beatrix brilliantly and Ewan McGregor plays Mr. Warren equally as flawlessly. It's a story of creative talent, love, loss and rebirth. It's inspirational, beautiful and well done. There are seriously few films that can capture the magic of the famed Miss Potter like this one can. A absolute must-see. 

Romantic Comedy 

You better believe it! This is probably my all-time favorite romantic comedy. It's silly, it's sweet, and for me - totally relatable. Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors, and when it comes to sweet movies like this, I love Meg Ryan. There's something about the whole book element that really catches my attention, too. *wink* 

A close second for me would be Sleepless in Seattle, which of course has Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, too. And third would be My Big Fat Greek Wedding. 


A bunch of hobbits and a ring. 
Need I say more? 
My personal favorite is the second installment, The Two Towers. You want to know how much I love this story world? I have an actual map of Middle Earth on my bedroom wall. Because let's face it: I would way rather know how to navigate Mordor than the boulevard that leads to my local pharmacy. 

Science Fiction/Fantasy 

The Hunger Games, of course!!! I loved the books - I read the first one in just a few hours - and I was so incredibly impressed by the film adaptation that it has turned out to be my favorite science fiction/fantasy movie ever. To date, that is. 

A few others that I enjoyed have been War of the Worlds and Star Wars (the original trilogy). 

I've never been into science fiction too much, but I love, love, love Jurassic Park. I have seen the first movie too many times to count. Part of the reason is because I wanted to be a Paleontologist when I was a little girl, and the other part is that dinosaurs fascinate me - no matter how old I get! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top Ten Sweet Reads of 2012...So Far

The Top 20 Sweet Reads of 2012? Not yet. Top 10? You'd better believe it! I've gone through some fantastic, exciting novels this summer. And because it's basically the end of what I like to call the Lazy Days (well...somewhat lazy), I just want to list a few of my favorite reads. Ten of them. I'll be a dear and save my top ten worst summer reads for another time. 
(You'll probably want to prepare yourself for that later.) 

1. Battle Royale, by Houshun Takami 
Yes, it was translated from Japanese. And yes, it has been said to be a knock-off of The Hunger Games. But no, it was not. It was actually written a good long time before THG came out, and wow. Was I impressed (and left slightly twitching from the onslaught of violence)! I definitely recommend it. 

2. Dark Inside, by Jeyn Roberts 
Okay, so let me be totally frank. This book is pretty darn terrifying. An ancient evil is released and causes pretty much everybody on planet earth to become the darkest parts of themselves - and only a few resist the darkness. I was severely creeped out, but also very impressed with this entire story world and the way the author laid out the post-apocolyptic setting. This is not a book for anybody under 13. Heck, it's barely a book for young adults! But still, one of those novels that will start a healthy discussion amongst your friends about the future of mankind's fate. 

3. The Genius Wars, by Catherine Jinks
Oh, the praises I could heap on this trilogy. I have been madly obsessed with this Australian-set storyline of boy-genius Cadel Piggot and his ascent from criminal to harbinger of justice. If you haven't read this series, you need to. It's fascinating, and at the same time, somewhat educational on the subject of computer hacking. 
Yeah. Don't get any ideas. 

4. Legend, by Marie Lu  
This book chronicles the tale of a tightly-trained special agent who happens to be just 15 years old - only she's working for a twisted, corrupt government that puts on a face of being loving and kind. Sound vaguely familiar? Well....let's not go there. This modern retelling of Les Miserables is fascinating and exciting. 

5. Cinder, by Marissa Meyer 
I've already reviewed this one on my blog, and you know I was impressed with the clean-cut story and clever setting of this epic yet classic fairytale. I adored Cinder and her spunky self. Marissa Meyer is definitely going places with these books. 

6. Born Free, by Joy Adamson 
This book was written in the 1960s (I know, ancient history for most of us, but still...), and although it may be from about 50 years ago, the story is still as heartwarming and endearing as ever. When Joy Adamson and her husband take it upon themselves to care for an infant lion in Africa, they do so not knowing the adventure they will embark on. This is a beautiful story of love and friendship between a brilliant creature and caring human beings. A true story. I highly recommend. 

7. Through My Eyes, by Tim Tebow
I am totally not here to ring the proverbial Tebow bell and try to convert anybody to be a New York Jets fan. I'm just an avid fan of biographies, so when Tim Tebow came out with a book of his own, I picked it up with the intent to review it. And I loved it. He talks about working hard, having faith, and accomplishing your dreams...and the guy is only 25 years old. It's impressive. It's inspiring. You can't have anything but respect for the man. 

8. Touching Smoke, by Airicka Phoenix 
This was my guilty pleasure of the summer. This quick paranormal romance for the Young Adult crowd was the kind that makes your pulse race a little quicker when the main squeeze jumps onto the page, but preserves the dignity of the character by not going too far. What I'm trying to say is that the author achieved a very nice balance that's sure to please teeny-boppers out there looking for a handsome hero, if you catch my drift. *wink*

9. The Enemy, by Charlie Higgins 
This book centers on one main plot: Teenagers vs. Zombies. You've heard this plotline before, friends, but the author takes a new spin on it by placing his main characters in London and storing them in an abandoned supermarket...and from there they take on the crazy, arguably stinky world of the undead with shopping carts, homemade spears and the occasional 100-meter dash. Keep in mind that this is not a book I would recommend for anybody younger than 14. It's fantastic, but gritty. 

10. Day by Day Armageddon, by J. L. Bourne 
Okay, so here's my last recommendation. This one is yet another zombie book. I know by now you probably think I'm a junkie for zombie books, but that's not true. It just so happens that a few of my favorite books this year happen to have zombies in them. This particular book is one I reviewed and it is not a book for children. It is written by an active-duty soldier, who details the experience of a fictional soldier who survives, along with his neighbor, against a bunch of rather annoying dead people who think humans are akin to Chinese takeout. Talk about a seasoning issue.
 It's a really awesome book about pure and simple survival from the viewpoint of somebody who actually knows what he's doing. Because let's face it, an American soldier with an M16 taking out zombies is a lot more believable than a 15-year-old girl with designer boots taking out zombies with a rake (all while taking the time to apply lip gloss). 
Not that I have ever come across this in YA novels............ 

Monday, September 10, 2012

I went to a CONCERT (Yes, Me!)!

While you may find it hard to believe, this is actually the view that I get to look at on the end of my street. No, I don't live anywhere near the ocean, but with a snapshot like this, I might be able to convince someone that I own a swanky mansion in Santa Monica. 
So what's my point? Even in a little tiny town in the middle of the Central Valley of California, I have beautiful things to look at - like the mountains, the fruit trees, or the palms that line the incoming boulevard to the city. 
The other night, I had an entirely new view to take in: a concert. For those who don't know, where I live does not (Note: Never) often feature any entertainer that lives more than than 30 miles away. So you can imagine my surprise when THIS guy was going to come to town and give a free concert: 
Remember this guy? He was a finalist on Season 8 of American Idol. He's a musical prodigy, a classically trained pianist and he is completely blind. When he was 19 he suffered from kidney failure and faced the very real prospect of dying. Obviously he made it through and today he travels around the country, doing inspirational speaking and giving amazing concerts. 

He gave a free concert at my church on Saturday, and guess what? No auto-tune. No band. Just him and the piano...and let me tell you: the guy can play. I have rarely had the pleasure of listening to a musician so incredibly talented - not to mention passionate. What could be better than that? Oh, right. He is also a strong Christian and his testimony was an incredible one. I actually read his autobiography a few months ago before he gave a concert, and it was a really touching story. I would definitely recommend it: By Faith, Not by Sight. Find it here! 
I just had to talk about it on my blog because it was a fun, moving experience. And I wasn't the only one impressed. A nearby school for the blind brought many of its pupils to the concert on Sunday, and most of them were either in tears or beaming with happiness the whole time. Scott MacIntyre's story was very inspirational for them.   

Here are two of my favorite songs that he sang: 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mystery Giveaway with Summer Day!

Ah, the classics. Maybe you're one of those people who love to read the eternally adored works of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Emily Bronte. Maybe your classical tastes are more along the lines of gothic dramatic horror stories like Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, or The Hunchback of Notre Dame, by Victor Hugo. Or perhaps you don't care for the classics but wouldn't mind reading a modern version of it. 

Summer Day is the author of Pride & Princesses, Wuthering Nights, and Anne Eyre. All modern retellings of classic novels. Her newest novel will not be released until mid-October, and for that reason, the title remains a secret. However, she's offering up one digital copy of this mystery novel for one lucky reader! All we can say is that the story is based on Jane Austen's Persuasion. 
This giveaway is going to be short and sweet - so be sure to enter right away before it closes! Have fun with this...and good luck! 

Wuthering Nights: Available on Kindle 
Pride and Princesses: Available on Kindle
Anne Eyre: Available on Kindle  
Visit Summer Day at her blog right HERE!
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pitch Contest with Vicki Motter

How would you like to get a chance to publish your book? At NA Alley, we are hosting a pitch contest today with a bonafide literary agent, Vicki Motter! Wondering what you have to do to enter? Just follow these simple rules:  

  • Make sure your submission is polished and ready to go. 
  • Include your Name, Email, Genre, 140 Character Pitch (Twitter Style), and first 200 words. 
  • Submit your entires via the comments section at NA Alley.
  • The contest will close after the first 25 entries are collected. 
  • The contest opens at 5 A.M. PST and 8 A.M. EST. 
That's all there is to it! Remember that your manuscripts should be typo-free, so be sure to check it for misspellings and grammatical errors. A misplaced comma might mean the difference between you and another contestant's win! 
Click HERE to enter this contest! 
Good luck! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Indie Monday: Agents of Change (And Giveaway!)

Happy Indie Monday (and Happy Labor Day)! Today is all about espionage. 
That's right. 
One of my VERY favorite genre of books is one where the main character is always on the run. Guy Harrison has authored a New Adult novel called Agents of Change, and the synopsis is as follows: 

An amiable corporate manager by day and a matchmaker whenever he can get around to it, Calvin Newsome's new dream job falls into his lap when he's recruited by a secret worldwide organization whose agents use uncanny abilities to empower and influence everyday downtrodden individuals. Disaster strikes, however, when an elaborate scheme leaves Calvin as a prime murder suspect...and his new employer is presumably to blame.

With the authorities on his heels and his life left in ruin, Calvin uses his new powers to blend in until a journey for freedom becomes a quest for peace. As the agency's rival organization threatens the security of all of earth's inhabitants, he teams up with unlikely allies and battles surprising enemies hellbent on unleashing their power in a twisted version of justice, innocent lives be damned.

(Synopsis from GoodReads) 

I'm going to be reading and reviewing this book within the next month, but until then, Guy Harrison has generously offered up one Kindle copy of his book for you guys! All you have to do to enter is use the quickie-mickey form below and you'll get a copy delivered to you once a winner is chosen! (You'll have 48 hours to claim your prize) This IS an International Giveaway!

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